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The Monkey Prince
by [?]

Once upon a time there was a Rájá called Jabhú Rájá, and he had a great many wives; at least he had seven wives, but he had no children. Although he had married seven wives, not one of them had given him a child. At this he was greatly vexed and said, “I have married seven wives, and not one of them has given me a child.” And he got very angry with God: he said, “Why does not God give me any children? I will go into the jungle and die by myself.” The Ránís coaxed him to stay, but he wouldn’t; he would go out into the jungle.

So he went out into the jungle very far, and God sent him an old fakír leaning on a stick. The Rájá met him, and the fakír said, “Why do you come into the jungle? If you go far into the jungle you will meet plenty of tigers, and they will eat you. Tell me what you want. Whatever you want I will give you.” “No, I won’t tell you,” said the Rájá. But at last the Rájá told him, “I have seven wives, and none of them has given me any children, and so here I will die by myself.” Then the fakír said, “Take this stick, and a little way off you will find a mango-tree with some mangoes on it. Throw the stick at the mangoes with one hand, and catch them as they fall with the other, and when you have caught them all, take them home and give one to each of your seven wives.” So the Rájá went and knocked the mangoes off the tree and caught them as the fakír had told him. Then he looked about for the fakír, but he could not find him, for he had gone away into another part of the jungle. So he went home and gave the seven mangoes to his wives. But the fruit was so good that six of the wives ate it up, and would not give the youngest wife any. She cried very much, and went into the compound and picked up one of the mango stones which one of the six wives had thrown away, and ate it. By and by each of the six wives had a son; but the one who had eaten the stone had a monkey, who was called in consequence Bandarsábásá, or Prince Monkey. He was really a boy, but no one knew it, for he had a monkey-skin covering him. His six brothers hated him. They went to school every day; and the monkey went under the ground, and was taught by the fairies. His mother did not know this; she thought, as he was a monkey, he went to the jungle and swung in the trees. He was the best and the cleverest of all the boys.

Now, in a kingdom a three months’ journey off by land from Jabhú Rájá’s country, there lived a king called King Jamársá. He had a very beautiful daughter whose name was Princess Jahúran, and as her father wanted a very strong son-in-law, he had a large heavy iron ball made, and he sent letters to all the Rájás and Rájás’ sons far and near to say that whoever wished to marry his daughter, the Princess Jahúran, must be able to throw this heavy ball at her and hit her. So many Rájás went to try, but none of them could even lift the ball. Now, one of these letters had come to Jabhú Rájá, and his six elder sons determined they would go to King Jamársá’s country, for each of them was sure he could throw the ball, and win the princess.

Prince Monkey laughed softly and said to himself, “I will go and try too. I know I shall succeed.”

Off, therefore, the six brothers set on their long journey, and the monkey followed them; but before he did so, he went into the jungle and took off his monkey-skin, and God sent him a beautiful horse and beautiful clothes. Then he followed his brothers and overtook them, and gave them betel-leaf and lovely flowers. “What a beautiful boy!” they said. “Who is it owns such a beautiful boy? He must be some Rájá’s son.” Then he galloped quickly away, took off his grand clothes and put them on his horse, and the horse rose into the air. He put on his monkey-skin and followed his brothers.